Jay DeMerit has one of the most unique stories to success the sport of soccer has ever seen. After going undrafted in the MLS, Jay backpacked to Europe, slept on attic floors, and climbed the English soccer pyramid from the 12th tier to become the captain of Watford FC in the English Premier League. He also represented the US Men’s National Team, playing every minute of his teams games throughout the World Cup of 2010 in South Africa. In 2011 he became the first ever signing and captain for the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS. He finished his career in 2014, after captaining the Vancouver Whitecaps for four seasons.
Off the field, Jay has taken the stage at Tedx Vancouver, spoken at a wide variety of national conferences, and has even been the keynote speaker on “Grit” at the US Soccer Federation’s annual symposium. His story was the subject of “Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story” a documentary released in 2011 after a successful kickstarter campaign where the passionate soccer community raised $223,000 to turn this important story into a feature film.
Based on the ideals portrayed throughout the film, Jay and his wife, Olympic Gold Medalist skier Ashleigh McIvor started the Rise & Shine Foundation and also launched Rise & Shine: Captains Camps, at their property in the mountains of British Columbia. These camp out soccer camps provide a 4 day leadership program for kids ages 13-18, teaching the “Dream BIG” mentality through a well rounded curriculum both on and off the field, and an elite mentorship program.
Jay also has a degree in Industrial Design and upon retirement from soccer, started Portmanteau Stereo Co. A conceptual stereo company that reclaims old suitcases as well as BC wood, and repurposes them to become portable Bluetooth speakers and home audio sound systems.
Twitter ID: @D6MERIT